A typical Pinoy can’t leave the house for work or school without having breakfast. This is a Filipino custom of giving value to the most important meal of the day. This is also the perfect time for people to touch base with everyone.
It is uncommon for Pinoys to eat breakfast with cereals, pancakes, French toasts or oatmeal. Although these western practices of eating light morning meals are highly favoured in the more urbanized part of the country. Yet, the rest of the regions still prefer heavy morning servings.
Since classes for kids start as early as 7-7:30am and work’s onset at 8am, morning meals are usually easy to prepare.
Agahan or almusal is the native Tagalog term for ‘breakfast’. And rice being one of the leading staple food in the Philippines is generally present in every meal, especially during ‘agahan’. The most common and easiest preparation for rice is to cook it through steam. Leftover rice from the night before is usually served as sinangag (or fried garlic rice). Commonly prepared during the rainy season, hot champorado (sweet chocolate rice porridge) is perfect when accompanied with tuyo or daing (smoked, dried fish),
A more classical serving of Filipino breakfast may include: pandesal (small-sized Filipino bread buns), suman (sweet rice steamed in banana leaf) and puto (rice cake).
Rich in protein and great for kid’s delicate taste buds are eggs cooked in myriad ways like fried, hard-boiled, or scrambled. The conventional Filipino delicacy called salted red egg, commonly called itlog na maalat, have a sand-like texture when eaten and is noted to have a red-dyed eggshell is also served on the table.
The Filipino people also love to eat tapa (slices of marinated beef), tocino (sweetened cured meat, Filipino version of bacon), longganisa (Filipino-style sausage), karne norte (corned beef with potato cubes and onions), spam and hotdogs.
There is growing popularity of Filipino breakfast portmanteaus in most restaurants called tapsilugan which specializes in the preparation of such meals. The prevailing food combo uses the suffix ‘silogs’ (SInangag and itLOG or egg). The most favourite silogs are:
- Tocilog (tocino + sinangag + egg)
- Tapsilog (tapa + sinangag + egg)
- Longsilog (longganisa + sinangag + egg)
The other type of silogs are:
- Spamsilog (with spam)
- Hotsilog (with hotdogs)
- Litsilog (with ‘letchon’ or roasted suckling pig)
- Dangsilog (with ‘danggit’ or rabbitfish)
- Cornsilog (with corned beef)
- Bangsilog (with ‘bangus’ or milkfish)
- Chosilog (with ‘chorizo’ or pork sausage) and
- Chiksilog (with chicken)
Fresh fruits usually serve as the dessert of the meal.
All of these Filipino dishes are best eaten when accompanied by tsokolate (hot cocoa), kapeng barako (local variety of coffee which is known for its strong taste and aroma), or a cup of tsaa (tea) is likely to complete the morning meal.
Indeed, breakfast in the Philippines, however simple, is a sumptuous way to fill your stomach with a highly-balanced meal suitable for your busy day.